Avoiding supply chain damage in the face of a hurricane

Of all the possible risks and disruptors currently facing businesses, few can be more catastrophic than a natural disaster. Typhoons and tornados have been historically difficult to predict, but thanks to advancements in meteorological forecasting, scientists now have the ability to calculate a hurricane’s path up to five days in advance. That gives risk mitigation experts at DHL a crucial window of time to prepare and respond, before disruptions occur.

In the run-up to this year’s hurricane season, DHL’s Resilience360 has released a report on the potential ways supply chains could be disrupted. Named “Stormy Weather Ahead: A Global Outlook on the 2019 Season”, the report examines storm seasons in the Northern Hemisphere from the past year and gives an outlook of typical storm paths to come in 2019. It also includes recommendations for those working in vulnerable industries for how best to avoid being impacted.

At the same time, Resilience360 is launching its improved weather shape tracking and alerting capability to customers. The algorithm analyzes the projected path of a hurricane or cyclone and notifies users of possible impacts on their specific supply chains. Using the new capabilities, customers will be able to get better analytics on affected locations and assess what this means for the company’s ability to produce and deliver to its end-customers.

“A minor hurricane that affects only a small region can nonetheless prove disastrous if it affects a crucial logistics hub or a critical supplier” explains Tobias Larsson, CEO Resilience360. “Preparedness is key to avoiding costly interruptions.”

 “Despite the increasing complexity of supply chains, advanced technologies allow us to map out multi-tiered supply chains. This makes it possible to understand how changes at one node – such as cargo ships stranded at a port – could impact the entire supply chain. When businesses are able to visualize where problems could arise, they can also plan appropriately with back-up suppliers and reroute when a storm is forecast to hit a key area.”

The industries most at risk in the Americas are aerospace, petrochemical, automotive and pharmaceutical industries, which tend to lie in risk-prone areas along the Gulf and East Coast as well as in Puerto Rico. Typhoon season in East Asia could threaten manufacturing hubs in China and Japan, automotive clusters further inland in China and electronics suppliers in southwestern Japan. For the North Indian Ocean, more than 80 percent of cyclones affect the eastern coast of India, affecting the petrochemical, pharmaceutical, automotive and other heavy industries.  Giorgia Rose

Download the full report “Stormy Weather Ahead: A Global Outlook on the 2019 Season” at www.resilience360.dhl.com.

What are the other disruptive trends to be wary of in 2019? How can companies prepare? Find out more by reading the Resilience360 Annual Risk Report.

Published: June 2019

Images: istock